Communi-tea sessions to combat loneliness run by funeral directors in Aylesbury Vale and Tring
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A local funeral directors is running ‘social prescribing’ events across the Aylesbury Vale and Tring area – including Knit and Natter and Communi-tea Friends sessions, giving residents the opportunity to have a cuppa, chat and connect with others.
C.P.J. Field, which owns Heritage & Sons funeral homes in Aylesbury, Wendover, Winslow, Buckingham and Tring, is facilitating the community events as a way of combating symptoms of loneliness and isolation.
Social prescribing connects vulnerable people to emotional and everyday community support and can include a range of local, non-clinical activities and initiatives created to improve patient’s health and wellbeing.
Its benefits have been clinically proven, and NHS England has committed to building the infrastructure for social prescribing in primary care, with the target of at least 900,000 people being referred to social prescribing by 2023/24.
Aylesbury resident Wendy Goddard said: “At first, I was really nervous because I had not been out for a long time. The other people are very friendly and now I feel happy to attend without a carer.
"I now have more confidence and have something to look forward to. I very much enjoy going to Communi-tea every Wednesday. I get dressed nicely and really look forward to seeing everyone. I feel normal again.”
Maria Butler, C.P.J. Field’s Community Champion for Bucks, said: “For a number of years now, we have been putting on events in the local communities we serve to help tackle loneliness and build links between people in their local communities – from monthly coffee mornings, mindfulness workshops, knit and natter groups, gardening and book clubs, lunch clubs, inter-generational coffee mornings and much more.
“C.P.J. Field not only cares for those who have died, but also those who are left behind after a bereavement. Our events, that have been signposted as social prescribing solutions by healthcare professionals, work to combat loneliness as even a brief interaction with another person can brighten someone’s day.
“On any given week, we can have upward of 15 people coming to our events to make connections with the wider community. We welcome anyone living in the Aylesbury region to come along.”
Age UK area facilitator Ros Shorrocks said: “Age UK Buckinghamshire is pleased to work with local groups which support and encourage older people in the community to stay active and to make regular connections through social prescribing.
"Having a date in the diary to meet people for a relaxed chat is good for morale and has clinical benefits for many people who suffer from symptoms caused by loneliness and isolation.”
Social prescribing events run locally by C.P.J. Field include fortnightly Communi-tea Friends sessions from 10.30am to noon at Lace Hill Manor Care Home in Buckingham, weekly Bridging the Gap sessions from 10am to noon in Wendover, weekly Knit & Natter sessions from 10.30am to noon at Bucks New University, fortnightly Communi-tea Friends sessions from 1.30pm to 3pm at Chartwell Manor Care Home in Aylesbury, weekly Communi-tea Friends sessions from 1.30pm to 3pm at St Michael’s, Aston Clinton, and Communi-tea Friends sessions at The Grand Junction, Buckingham, on the fourth Monday of every month.